Celebrate the Year of the Rooster at Mandarin Oriental hotels in Hong Kong, with seasonal Cake Shop delicacies, Michelin-starred menus, spa treatments and joyful decorations

Pierre restaurant at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

Pierre restaurant at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

There's no brighter, bigger or more important cultural celebration than Chinese New Year, a festival marked by an estimated fifth of the world's population. 2017 heralds the Year of the Rooster, the 10th of 12 cycles in the Chinese zodiac for those born in 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 – and, of course, 2017.

If this represents your year of birth, chances are that you're faithful, punctual, bright… and, from time to time, known for being impatient! Regardless of your own Chinese zodiac sign, however, everyone gets to celebrate New Year, which falls in January or February. In 2017, Lunar New Year's Day is 28 January.

Year of the Rooster decorations in Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong's lobby

Year of the Rooster decorations in Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong's lobby

Chinese New Year is marked in multiple ways, but one of the most important and symbolic is through sharing food, a custom found across the global Chinese diaspora. Known in Cantonese as nin gou, glutinous rice cake is eaten because its name sounds almost identical to 'higher year', inferring 12 months of growth and success. 

The Mandarin Cake Shop at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong offers guests an array of gifts to bestow good fortune, including traditional Chinese taro and turnip cakes, as well as versions made from glutinous rice or water chestnut. Hampers are also available, filled with exclusive New Year gourmet delicacies, such as dried seafood, lap cheong sausages, chocolates and candied fruit.

A view from The Excelsior, Hong Kong

A view from The Excelsior, Hong Kong

A New Year celebration isn't complete without auspicious and bright decorations. At Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, in partnership with an artistic collective from Japan that uses ribbons as its inspiration and medium, the entrance and lobby is adorned with large, handcrafted designs referencing the Lunar New Year and the rooster. Look out for the special rooster pop-up store, which donates a portion of its proceeds to international conservation organisation The Nature Conservancy.

In common with all New Year celebrations across the world, looking and feeling your best is crucial. At the Fitness Centre at The Excelsior, Hong Kong, choose from several rejuvenating treatments: a Deep Cleansing Facial that uses lavender, ylang ylang and tea tree essential oils; a restorative De-stress Muscle Release, for tight and aching joints; and the Executive Energiser, a 30-minute focus on the head, neck and shoulders. For the ultimate pampering experience, book a room or suite package with a spa offer.

L600 guest room at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

L600 guest room at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

When it comes to festive treats to be shared with the family, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong delivers with a unique menu crafted by Richard Ekkebus, the Dutch culinary maestro at the two-Michelin-starred Amber. Over at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, there are few more impressive ways to start the culinary year than at Pierre, also with two stars, overseen by the legendary Pierre Gagnaire.

Wherever you welcome in the Chinese New Year, we hope it is filled with good fortune and health.

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Chris Dwyer

Chris Dwyer is a Hong Kong-based food and travel writer. He has written for CNN and publications across the world, and has a food review website at www.finefooddude.com

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